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Synod 2020 Biographies

The 143rd Synod of the Episcopal Diocese of Springfield
 Nominee Biographies


(in alphabetical order)

 

Ellen Burbage, Diocesan Council (lay)
Ellen was born in Martinsburg, West Virginia in 1946. A lifelong Episcopalian she was baptized and confirmed at  Trinity Episcopal Church, in Martinsburg, West Virginia.

After graduating from the College of William and Mary, she lived, worked and worshipped in Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Florida and Indiana. She taught school and spent 20 years in Operations and Fiscal Departments for several convenience store chains.

In 1994 Ellen arrived in Lincoln, IL where she found a welcoming community and church home, Trinity Episcopal.

Since 1994 Ellen has served Trinity, Lincoln, IL as Vestry member (several terms), Senior Warden, current Treasurer, Synod Delegate, Lector, Chalice Bearer and Sunday School teacher. She made her Cursillo in the Diocese of Springfield in 2018 and was a team member for Cursillo in 2019.

Serving the community of Logan County is very important to Ellen. As the president of the Humane Society of Logan County for ten years, she spearheaded the building and operation of an animal shelter. Ellen was president of the Oasis Senior Center Board when a fire destroyed their building. She oversaw the purchase and remodeling of a new and more functional building. She continues to volunteer at the Oasis as a tax preparer in a federally sponsored program that allows no fees to be charged. She is actively involved in Crime Stoppers, Rotary and was recently asked to be on the board of St. Clara’s Nursing Home.

In 2013 Ellen was named the Lincoln Courier Citizen of the Year.

Ellen is retired from Community Action Partnership of Central Illinois where she was the Human Resource Director. She is an avid animal advocate and shares her home with her sixth rescue cat.

 


Larry Clark,
 Disciplinary Board (lay)
Larry is a member of St. Paul’s Church, Carlinville in the Northwestern Deanery, was born into and baptized in the Springfield Diocese. He is currently on the Vestry and previously served as Rector’s Warden. Larry is a 1965 graduate of Monmouth College with B.A. in Economics and earned a law degree from the University of Denver. He maintains a solo general law practice in Carlinville where he resides with Barbara, married 55 years. They have 4 adult children and 6 grandchildren.

 


The Very Rev. Andrew S. Hook,
 Provincial Synod Delegate
The Very Rev. Andrew is the Dean of The Cathedral Church of Saint Paul the Apostle in Springfield. He was called to the Cathedral in April of 2015. Andy grew up in a nominally Mennonite household and after straying from the Faith returned in 1998 as a Junior in high school. After rejoining the Mennonite Church, Andy pursued his undergraduate degree in youth ministry at Hesston College in Hesston, Kansas and then Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. His first exposure to the Episcopal Church was as a Junior in college when he attended The Great Vigil of Easter at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

After college, Fr. Andy co-pastored a Mennonite Church in Ohio and then upon returning to Kansas, his birthstate, he took up the position of youth minister at Grace Episcopal Church in Hutchinson, Kansas. He was confirmed into the Episcopal Church in 2008. Feeling God’s call into the priesthood he received his Master of Theology from Newman University in Wichita, Kansas. He was ordained to the diaconate May 25th, 2013 and then the priesthood on the Feast of Saint Andrew of that same year.

 


The Rev. Tim Leighton,
nominated for Secretary
Deacon Tim has served in the Diocese of Springfield since Bishop Martins ordained him on the Feast of the Annunciation, March 25, 2017, and as Secretary of the Diocese since October 18, 2019. In addition to serving as a member of the Commission on Ministry, he also collaborates with other diocesan Deacons to encourage people to explore their calls to ministry and to equip the baptized for ministry. As Assisting Deacon at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Bloomington, Deacon Tim serves at the Altar on Sundays and has officiated for Morning Prayer on weekdays. His emerging ministry focus is as chaplain for first responders and visiting with people seeking pastoral care. Tim earned his Anglican Studies Certificate at Nashotah House Seminary.

Professionally, Tim and his colleagues have served Clients as lawyer for most of his career, helping plan and navigate transitions in estate/trust, business and charitable matters, and also helping resolve disputes through mediation and arbitration. Bar admissions include state and federal courts in Illinois, Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia, including the United States Supreme Court. He is currently serving the Illinois State Bar Association as a member of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section Council and Bar Foundation’s Planned Giving Committee. Previously he chaired the Section Councils on Business and Financial Planning for both Illinois State Bar Association and American Bar Association.

In the community, Tim is pro bono General Counsel of Community Players Theatre and has served as president of Illinois Prairie Community Foundation, Community Cancer Center Foundation, and Bloomington-Normal Chapter of National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, Founding Chair of the Easter Seals Bloomington Community Board, Treasurer of McLean County Bar Association, and board member of Challenger Learning Center, Illinois Wesleyan University Associates, OSF St. Joseph Foundation and Recovery Starts Today, Inc. He has taught courses in finance and law on the adjunct faculties of Illinois State University and Illinois Wesleyan University. Tim’s law degree is from George Washington University. He chairs Georgetown University’s Alumni Admissions organization for Central and Southern Illinois.

Debra Leighton serves with the St. Matthew’s Outreach Committee, organizing the semi-annual book/dvd sale/fundraiser, is an active Hospice Volunteer and manages the Leighton Legal Group office. The Leighton’s growing family includes four children and a grandchild.

 


The Very Rev. Richard I. Lewis,
Commission on Ministry (presbyter)
Father Lewis became an Episcopalian in 1988 and was confirmed at Church of the Holy Trinity in Danville. He has served as acolyte, vestry member, rector’s warden, treasurer, church schoolteacher, youth coordinator, deanery representative, and presently serves on the Diocesan Council.

After graduating from Nashotah House Theological Seminary in 2016, he was ordained and became priest-in charge of Holy Trinity. Prior to ordination, he taught elementary and middle school for thirty-three years in the Danville public school system and holds degrees from Illinois State University, University of Illinois, and Eastern Illinois University. Richard and his wife, Pat Anderson Lewis, were married in 1977 and have one adult daughter.

 


Rod Matthews,
Treasurer
Rod was confirmed in the Episcopal Church in 1992 at All Saints, Frederick, MD. He served on the Vestry at St Paul’s, Murfreesboro, TN. He completed Cursillo in the Episcopal Diocese of TN in the spring of 1997. Rod has been a member of Christ the King, Normal, since November 1998. He has served multiple terms on Christ the King’s Mission Leadership Team and served as Rector’s Senior Warden 3 times. He also has served the Diocese of Springfield as a member of the Diocesan Council, a synod delegate, a Deanery representative, and member of the Standing Committee. Rod was one of Christ the King’s delegates to the Nominating and Election Synods for the 11th Bishop of the Diocese of Springfield. He currently serves as Treasurer of the Diocese of Springfield.

Rod retired from State Farm Insurance Companies in 2014 after 38 years of service. He joined State Farm in 1979 in the Charlottesville, Va. office and held a variety of positions in Pennsylvania, Florida, Maryland, Illinois, and Tennessee. Rod held various senior executive positions over the last 20 years of his career. He returned to corporate headquarters in 1998.

Matthews is a past chair and director on the board of the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS). In addition, he served on the boards of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH), and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF).

Rod resides in Bloomington with his wife of 39 years, Dee Matthews. Rod and Dee have two sons, David (writer/producer for Fox TV 5 DC, Washington, DC) and Michael, (Doctoral Program at UCLA). A native of Virginia, Matthews received a bachelor’s degree from Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia. He earned the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation in 1985.

 


Donald Monty,
Trustee
Donald Monty has been a member of St. Andrew’s, Carbondale since 1968. He has served on the Vestry numerous times, been People’s Warden and Rector’s Warden multiple times, currently serves as Treasurer, and is a long-time Eucharistic Minister. He has served as a delegate to Synod from St. Andrew’s many times and served on Diocesan Council. Don is in his second five-year term as a member of the Trustees of the Diocese of Springfield where he currently serves as Chairperson. He has been very active with the Episcopal Church Camp of Illinois where he served as Director of the Senior Session for 28 years and where he serves now as Chairman of the Camp Board.

Don’s entire professional career was with the City of Carbondale, Illinois. He progressed through many professional and administrative positions and in his final position served as Assistant City Manager for ten years until his retirement in 2006. For most of his career, he was involved in budgeting and program administration. In his last 14 years of work, he was instrumental in preparing, balancing and implementing the City’s multimillion-dollar budget. While working for the City, Don was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Jackson County Mass Transit District where he served as its Chairperson for 10 years. In 2011 Don was elected to the Carbondale City Council and served as Acting Mayor from 2014 until May 2015.

Don has been married to Anne Gaylord for 52 years. They have two adult children and four grandsons. Don has been active as an adult leader in the Boy Scouts of America for many years. He was presented with the Silver Beaver Award by the Greater St. Louis Area Council of the Boy Scouts for his service to youth and the community.

 

 

The Rev. James K. Muriuki, Standing Committee (presbyter)
Fr. James has served the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, Cairo since August 2014. Before coming to the Diocese of Springfield, James served the Church of the Good Shepherd for 13 years and before then as an associate priest at All Saints’ Birmingham for 5 years, both in the Diocese of Alabama.

Father James is a member of the Diocesan Council in the Episcopal Diocese of Springfield; he is a Spiritual Director to the Episcopal Church Camp; served as a Spiritual Director for the EDS Cursillo; serves as Spiritual Director for the Kairos at Menard Correctional Facility, Chester Illinois.

He served in the Board of Mission and Outreach, and in the Commission on Race Relations. He also served on the Board of the Jubilee Community Center and on the Board of the Holy Cross Episcopal School, both in Montgomery, Alabama.

Prior to coming to the United States, Father James served churches in the Anglican Church of Kenya; Diocese of Mount West and the Diocese of Mount Kenya Central before it was subdivided into two Dioceses. In the Diocese of Mt. Kenya West, James worked as the Diocesan Youth Organizer (D.Y.O), member of the Standing Committee of Synod, Diocesan Board of Education, and Chairperson of the Youth Department. James also served as a member of the Kenya Anglican Youth Organization (K.A.Y.O).

Fr. James led a group of the Diocesan K.A.Y.O members to England for a K.A.Y.O and Christians Aware Exchange Program. James has started several new congregations in Kenya and one in Montgomery, Alabama in April 2013.

James was ordained as a Deacon in December 1991 and Priest in August 1992. Fr. James received a Masters of Divinity from Beeson Divinity School, Samford University in Birmingham Alabama. He graduated from St. Paul’s Theological College, Limuru Kenya. James also graduated from Asumbi Teacher Training College, Kenya and worked in public schools in Kenya before answering the call to ordained ministry.

James has been married to Jane since September 1992 and they are blessed with two children, Shalom Eva, a senior year at Cape Central High school, and Reuben who is in Cape Central Junior High School.

 


The Rev. Dr. Gregory A. Tournoux,
 Disciplinary Board (clerical)
Fr. Gregory Allen Tournoux has been married for 34 years to his wife, Nada. They have four children: son Justin Gregory, and daughters Seton Marie, Brigid Kildare and Bernadette Lourdes (identical twins). Fr. Greg has served in 2 congregations as an assistant, and as a Rector. As Rector in a small upper-Midwest community, he led the transformation of a desperately declining congregation into a thriving kingdom-building body based upon holistic missional communities living the four values of Christ’s kingdom, namely, experiencing the Upward (Mark 12:30), Inward (Mark 12:31), Outward (Matthew 28:19), and Forward (Matthew 28:20), as well as gathering collectively for inspiring liturgical worship comprising Word and Sacrament. His current congregation is in the very early stages of systemic renewal.

Fr. Greg has a Masters in Divinity, Doctor of Ministry, a Doctor of Religious Studies, is a trained consultant in Natural Church Development, and has completed over 150 days of leadership development. Presently, Fr. Greg is pursuing a Masters of Arts in Theological Studies. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at a seminary, and has authored the book, Evangelizing Postmodern Pre-Christians through Holistic Cells and Liturgical Celebration. Additionally, Fr. Greg serves the church in a variety of capacities, such as: training, coaching, and mentoring several clergy and lay leaders in the areas of church health and growth; numerous parish, seminary, and diocesan teachings; initiated a Leadership Training Institute for clergy and laity; started a national clergy ministry; developed a Seminarian Internship; initiated a clergy support group that met monthly for prayer, study, sharing, and mutual encouragement; Diocese of Springfield: Commission on Ministry; Diocese of Eastern Michigan: initial stage of Bishop’s Search Committee; teaching Ministry (Pioneer Training); Diocese of Michigan: Executive Council, Committee on Admission of New Congregations; Diocese of North Carolina: Evangelism and Renewal; Commission, Episcopal Clergy Association Executive Committee; Diocese of Virginia: Clericus, Bishop’s Conference on Renewal.

 


The Rev. David L. Wells,
Diocesan Council (clerical)
Fr. Wells was ordained to the priesthood on May 14, 2016 in the Diocese of Springfield after completing a year as a Transitional Deacon at St. Luke’s Church in Springfield. He was a staff Chaplain at St. John’s Hospital and served as a Supply Priest. In 2017 he became Assisting Priest at the Cathedral of Saint Paul the Apostle and a Chaplain for the Illinois State Police. He still serves as a Supply Priest in the Diocese. Fr. Wells came to the Episcopal Church in 2008 at a parish in Chicago and joined St. Luke’s in 2012.

Fr. Wells is a ‘second career priest’ having spent 45-years in public law enforcement agencies serving in supervisory/executive positions for state and county agencies. He retired as an Executive Inspector General for the State of Illinois in 2015. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Business Management/Law and a Masters Degree in Criminal Justice Administration. Fr. Wells attended Nashotah House Theological Seminary earning a Masters Degree in Theology and Pastoral Ministry.

Fr. Wells has served as a Delegate for Diocesan Synod(s) and has been a member of the Diocesan Disciplinary Board.

Fr. Wells is married to Mary Ellen; they have no children and reside in Springfield.

 

 

Randy Winn, Standing Committee (lay)
Randy is a member of Trinity Church, Mt. Vernon; he has served on Trinity’s Vestry and was the Rector’s Warden for two years. He serves on Diocesan Council as co-chair of the Mission Department, for several years chaired diocesan stewardship efforts and is secretary of Diocesan Trustees. From 2008 through 2011 he was a member of the Standing Committee and was a General Convention deputy in Anaheim in 2009, in Salt Lake City in 2015, Austin in 2018 and has been elected a deputy in Baltimore in 2021. Reared in a Methodist parsonage, Winn was confirmed by Bishop Beckwith in 1994 on St Mark’s Day in Worthington, Ohio.

Randy was a member of Ward, Dreshman & Reinhardt, Inc., a firm that provides financial consulting services to non-profit and philanthropic organizations from 1980 through 2011; he was its chairman and CEO since 1991. In June of 2016 Winn retired from his position as the development director for the United Methodist Children’s Home in Mt. Vernon. His undergraduate studies took place at Illinois Wesleyan University and graduate work was done at Wesleyan, Illinois State University and Washington University in St. Louis.